Before you buy a Newfoundland, you should take a closer look at the breed so that you don’t get a nasty surprise later. In addition to appearance, various characteristics play a role in whether a dog suits someone. It is especially important to know how much exercise a Newfoundland needs. Because even if the dogs seem rather cosy, first impressions can be deceptive.
The Newfoundland is a strong working dog from Canada. The fact that it is a working dog indicates that the Newfoundland needs more exercise than many would suspect.
On average, the Newfoundland needs about 60 minutes of exercise per day. In addition to daily walks, it is ideal to specifically encourage and challenge the Newfoundland’s enormous strength. Swimming is ideal for this, because swimming is significantly more strenuous, but at the same time gentler than walking.
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How to exercise a newfoundland
if you want to keep your Newfoundland reasonably busy, walks in nature should be the foundation. With about 60 minutes of exercise spread over 2 walks you have are on a good way.
In addition, you should now and then, perhaps every 2 weeks, as time allows, make an excursion with your dog.
By “excursion” is meant that you go where you don’t normally walk. Offer your dog an “adventure”. Go to a lake, to the sea, to a big forest… whatever
Due to their size and weight, Newfoundlands are not suitable for running or biking.
It’s like children. They also get excited like crazy when there is something special, like a trip to the seaside, an amusement park or somewhere else at the weekend.
If he gets enough exercise, a Newfoundland is the ideal family dog. They are very gentle with children.
Exercise a Newfoundland puppy
Your Newfoundland puppy can go on controlled walks with you for about 5 minutes at a time per month of life.
So when your dog is 3 months old, you can plan for a walk of about 15 minutes.
After that, a puppy usually can’t concentrate enough and is exhausted.
However, pay individual attention to how your Newfoundland puppy behaves. The 5 minutes should only serve as a rough guide.
In addition to the walks, where it is important that your puppy has time to sniff and explore the surroundings, you should also challenge him mentally.
Especially in the beginning, training and executing basic commands and obedience is a good way to keep a Newfoundland mentally busy.
It is important to keep an eye on the weight of your Newfoundland. He should slowly increase in size and weight. It is better to feed him a little less and make sure you can always feel his ribs.
With large dogs, there is a risk that if they get big and heavy too quickly, the weight will have a negative effect on their muscles and joints.
How much exercise an older Newfoundland needs
With increasing age, the Newfoundland also moves less. You should pay attention to your dog and see if he can still manage the walks without problems.
For example, if he takes many breaks and pants more often, you should make the walks shorter. Walk more often, but shorter rounds.
Adjust the intensity to your dog’s ability.
It is important that your Newfoundland gets adapted but sufficient exercise, even in old age, so that joints and muscles are trained and remain mobile.
Newfoundland in summer
The Newfoundland has a black and thick coat, and in summer it quickly becomes too warm.
Therefore, avoid walks in the blazing midday sun. Dogs cannot sweat and regulate their body temperature by panting.
The thick and additional black coat will make your Newfoundland overheat even faster.
Protect your dog from heat, so move walks to early morning and late evening when it is not yet hot or not so hot.
Alternatively, you can also go for a walk in the forest. In the forest it is much cooler due to the shade of the trees.
Activities with a Newfoundland
To make sure your Newfoundland gets enough exercise and activity, you can spend time together doing the following activities.
Walks are the foundation for keeping a Newfoundland sufficiently busy. Daily walks are important to get rid of excess energy and prevent your Newfoundland from becoming overweight. Overweight is especially dangerous in large and heavy dogs.
Adjust the pace to your dog and give your Newfoundland variety on the walk.
Change the routes you walk together. Make trips in between to a special forest area or to another lake or the sea.
Make sure that you do not over- but also not under-challenge your Newfoundland. Walks of 30 to 60 minutes should be possible in any case.
The Newfoundland is made for the water. They love to swim. If you have a lake or river nearby, you can give your Newfoundland the opportunity to swim and pursue his passion, especially in summer.
Swimming has two advantages:
Firstly, it is more strenuous for your Newfoundland and therefore contributes more to making a Newfoundland tired than normal exercise, and secondly, although it is more intense, it is gentler on the joints.
So if you want to really tire your dog out, take him to a lake and let him swim.
In addition to “normal” swimming, Newfoundlands are suited for water rescue. Trained water rescue dogs can pull people out of a lake and save them from drowning.
Most dogs love tug-games. One advantage is that the Newfoundland has to use its strength and at the same time you can train it mentally by practising the signal “drop it”.
So you tug with your Newfoundland at a tug toy. In between you give the command “drop it”.
When your dog lets go, you wait a short time, praise him and then the game continues as a reward. This is an easy way to keep your dog physically active and mentally challenged at the same time.
A great tug toy is the Kong Tug*. We also use it for our Cane Corso and Broholmer. I find it much better than the ropes that disintegrate after a short time.
Retrieving can also be a way to keep your Newfoundland busy. A retrieving dummy filled with treats is ideal. You can also play fetch with your Newfoundland in the water.
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Keep your Newfoundland mentally stimulated
In addition to exercise and physical activity, it’s important to keep your Newfoundland mentally challenged.
Mental exercise is just as exhausting and tiring for dogs as physical exercise. It is important that a dog gets both.
Learning and performing commands is a good and easy way to keep a Newfoundland mentally stimulated.
Feeding after the walk
The Newfoundland is a large and heavy dog. Here, too, there is a risk of gastric torsion. If you want to prevent or exclude gastric torsion in your dog as far as possible, it is advisable not to feed your Newfoundland before the walk.
Either get up earlier and take your Newfoundland for a walk directly or wait at least 1.5 to 2 hours after feeding until you go on your walk.
In my opinion, the dog and also you should go for a walk first and then eat. This is also in line with natural behaviour. Because wolves or wild dogs don’t have food ready in the morning either, they have to go hunting first.
After a nice walk, your Newfoundland can eat and then lie down in his dog bed to digest and snore.
Consequences of too little exercise
If your Newfoundland gets too little exercise and activity, behavioral problems can occur.
Excessive barking or aggression can be the result of too little physical and mental activity.
Conclusion: How much exercise does a Newfoundland need?
A Newfoundland needs about 60 minutes of exercise and activity per day. They are not athletes, but like walks in nature and of course swimming in the lake or river.
With a Newfoundland puppy, you should start walking slowly. Besides the actual walking, sniffing and exploring is important and exhausting.
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